Dynamist Blog

Americans for Better Justice

As regular readers know, I've written an extraordinary amount about Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Early on, my primary purpose was reportorial--to use my locational advantage to provide information and context for people outside of Dallas. But the more I learned, the more appalled I became.

For whatever reason, the president has picked a woman who not only has no constitutional or judicial experience but even in her business practice has demonstrated no interest in the law as anything other than a source of billable hours. At 60 years old, she appears never to have had a substantive conversation about law or policy with any friend. She comes from a closed and cronyish legal and business culture and appears to have gotten ahead through a combination of networking, nose-to-the-grindstone diligence, and willingness to do her law firm's management, rather than legal, work.

Her selection is an insult to women, to evangelical Christians, and to corporate lawyers. Is this really the best these groups have to offer to U.S. Supreme Court?

Unlike some social conservatives, my concerns are not results-oriented. As a matter of policy, I am perfectly happy to have abortion legal, with some restrictions, and actively support gay marriage. If there were any evidence (other than my friend Hugh Hewitt's imaginings) that Harriet Miers shared Richard Epstein's views on affirmative action, I'd give her a pass on that. (Now there' a line of questioning for the Judiciary Committee: Would you agree with Richard Epstein on affirmative action? Does she even know who he is or what he says?)

But the Supreme Court is not a legislature, in which the standard for a justice is whether he or she will "vote right." Supreme Court decisions set precedents beyond the case at hand, and they do that through the arguments they make--the very sort of logic and rhetoric Miers shows absolutely no interest in or competence for. Being the president's friend and lawyer, like being of the right sex and religion, does not by itself meet the requirements of the job.

At the invitation of David Frum, I have joined the advisory board of Americans for Better Justice, a group of people who have supported President Bush but who do not support this nomination. ABJ's website has more information about the organization, which will be running TV ads asking the president to withdraw the nomination, and what citizens can do to let the Senate and president know that America deserves better.

My previous posts on the Miers nomination, in reverse chronological order, are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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